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How To Create A Digital Product Strategy When Technology Changes Fast?
Are you working on a digital product to bring about digital transformation? Are you feeling that the project isn’t moving anywhere though the product team is loaded with the work? After a deeper dive into decision making, does it seem like your team is off track?
This often occurs when product teams don’t follow a strategy that supports their design and development process.
No doubt that companies are focusing on agile methodologies to develop products and digital experiences. But what is happening is that they are paying more attention in getting the project done just like this.
Most product development teams deviate their focus from the fundamental product and business needs. And this is the reason so many companies fall short of delivering promising products. Therefore, having a well-defined product strategy is important to begin the process of building a digital product.
What is a Digital Product Strategy?
A great digital product strategy is a high-level plan that defines what your product goals are and how it will support your organization’s goals. Defining a strategy aligns team members and other key stakeholders around your desired goal. It will answer who will be the end-users of the product and how it will help them.
A digital product strategy empowers your team to focus on what is important and communicate the value of the product amongst cross-functional teams namely sales, marketing, and customer support.
What are the Challenges with Digital Product Strategy?
In a report published by CB Insights on ‘The top 20 reasons startups fail', the prime reason given by CEOs was that there was no market need analyzed for the product under development stage. Other reasons include poor product, disharmony among the team members, breakneck competition due to digitization.
Product development and engineering team face following challenges while they are on the mission of creating a strategy for digital products:
- Developing innovative, customer-centric product where customer needs keep evolving
- Getting efficient results from digitization of core product (legacy systems)
- Plugging-in agile methodologies into integrated partner ecosystem
- Not focusing on mitigate cybersecurity threats and risks
- Investing in building and training team from absolute scratch
- Handling technical expertise
- Building a long-lasting digital product development cycle
- Flexibility - hanging on to an idea, thinking it will succeed, and refusing to adapt to reality
- Budgeting - expecting more through a traditional budgeting process
- Managing stakeholders
- Listing realistic digital product features
- Pre-launch marketing
- Focusing on a product - being distracted by technology
These are the most common challenges that product strategists often face when developing a product development strategy by not considering the ongoing advancements. No doubt the challenges will come, but facing as many challenges as these are true hints to realizing that your strategy is not optimized the way it should be concerning your business infrastructure and digital evolution. Keep reading to know the process of developing the right digital product strategy for your business.
Envisioning your Product’s Future in the Digital World
In the digital environment where technology is changing at a cracking pace, it is very hard to keep the balance between efficiency and the output of the product development while keeping the budget in mind. With the right set of digital tools, new agile development techniques, and automated processes, all such problems can be solved.
One of the world’s largest art galleries sets the benchmark for other competitors who look forward to transforming their business at scale. The brand, which was once crippled by outdated technology, has now uplifted its sales automation and personalization process through the right cultivation of technology and digital roadmap. Therefore, it is important to have a process to evaluate the right initiatives to build in the first place. A strategy that works best for uncertainty and takes your product in the right direction where you can meet your product as well as organizational goals.
7 Steps of Creating a Digital Product Strategy
If you’re responsible for a digital product development, you should begin with an effective strategy. This strategy for a new product will help you launch the product with minimal risks, achieve product-market-fit balance, and lastly, sustain the growth with distinction attributes.
Here’s what you should do when creating a digital product strategy.
1. Conducting a Detailed Research
To kickstart the journey of your digital product, it is important to define the vision and goals. It should include what your organization is aiming to achieve and most importantly the purpose of creating the product. Figure out customer roadblocks and validate viable solutions.
To start with the right steps, research to know how many people are facing those challenges and how your end product is going to help and bring a positive impact in their lives. These findings will help the design and development team to make further decisions.
2. Make Product Value Proposition
Your product cannot be everything to every business problem. The unique value proposition for your product should not be confined to what problem you are solving. Instead, it should be about how you’re looking at the problem and how your product is solving them. This unique value proposition idea will make you stand out from your competition.
3. Conduct Competitor Analysis
The next big step is to evaluate similar kinds of products available in the market. Benchmark those products and look at the strategies – how your competitors are achieving their objectives with their digital products. It is crucial to assess the weaknesses and strengths of your competitors, which in turn, will help you to position your product in the competitive market landscape.
4. Focus on Users - Create User Persona
Once you’ve found the problem and the needs end-users want to be fulfilled, learn who the target users are. Creating a user persona will help you in getting the useful insights about the product’s users – what drives them, and what they look for in your product. User personas are shareable documents that have users’ common needs, lifestyles, and behaviors into a set of imagery, vignette, archetypal models. This model structure will help communicate the needs of your users to stakeholders and others on the product team.
5. Define Product’s Goals
You’ve provided your people a big picture vision for your product, now what?
Use the vision to define a series of goals or high-level objectives that you want your product to achieve. It could be defining a new type of user persona, increasing customer lifetime expectancy, or increasing brand equity. Once you’re able to have these goals in place, you’ll align your team on the specific plans for features and other aspects of the product that you’re going to build. Also, you’ll be able to choose the right Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to assess the performance.
6. Do Product Conception
At this stage of your digital product strategy process, you’ve got a great vision and goals for your product. Now, this is the time for product conceptualization to lead your product development in the right direction. The planning involves creation of user journeys, user stories, user scenarios and use cases. Having this, you can ensure that you’re on the right track of connecting with right end-users and navigating them to the right path.
7. Research and Define Product Pricing
The final step of the strategy process should include the product pricing. It should describe how you will compute the price of the product based on its perceived value. The team should follow a pricing model to get the best pricing for the product.
Now is The Time to Build your Digital Product Strategy
And this is happening because digital champions are experimenting with the latest technologies. They are employing next-gen product development techniques (agile, for example), big data analytics, AI-based solutions, and well-integrated product lifecycle management systems in their product strategies.
Identifying the right opportunity, figuring out where to compete, and solving a problem for end-users in a feasible, unique, and economical way are the building blocks of a product strategy. Keeping all these things in mind, you can roll out a digital product strategy that makes sense to your product teams and overall business goals.
If you are on a digital transformation excursion and finding a technology partner to create a digital product strategy roadmap for you, then Icreon is here to help. Explore Icreon’s Digital Transformation Services.